3 Flights, 14 time Zones, 48 Hours

By now, you might have read Why I wanted to travel to Asia and maybe you also learned How I pulled it off.  To achieve any goal you need to state what it is and why you want to do it. Next, you have to setup yourself for success. Finally, you’ve got to actually do it and the next few blogs will go into detail about what I did and learned while traveling to Asia. But first things first, you have to actually get all the way out there!

When I went to book my first flight to Asia, price was really my only consideration. Since I was booking my flight just three days before I was going to leave, prices to many places were outrageous. To find the cheapest flight available, I used google flights to set my one-way departure as Atlanta, my date and then I searched far and wide. To my surprise, it was a flight to Bali, a place I was certainly interested in traveling to. It also helped that one of my best buddies from my RY trip, Nick, was living there for the month so I knew I’d have a friend upon arrival. That was enough for me to just bite the bullet and commit to this trip. At this point, I hadn’t planned anything else but clicking that “Pay” button made it real which set everything in motion.

As you can probably guess getting to Asia is hard. This “cheap” flight that I had bought last minute was three legs and was going to take around 48 hours (with time zone change) all-in. I guess thats the price you pay for getting all the way around the world. When it was all said and done, I woke up at 5:30am on Thursday and wasn’t finally asleep until 4:30am on Saturday morning. My first leg was to Detroit which seems simple enough but of course, not only were we delayed but they also had to de-ice the plane before we could take off.  This but it in my head that I was definitely going to miss my next connecting flight so I had to endure a 14 1/2 hour flight where I thought I was going to miss my connection the entire time. Once I get settled in, the flight actually wasn’t too bad. I watched some movies, TV series on my iPad, slept, ate and repeated all of these actions a few times until we finally landed in Seoul, South Korea. I was seated in row 57 of 60 and there are 9 seats in each row so I calculated in my head I had around 500 or so people that needed to de-plane before me. I also had no idea what time it was (phone had no service so it wouldn’t update) or how long I had until my next flight left. I ran to immigration and then through the Seoul airport until I finally got to my gate and lucky for me, the plane hadn’t boarded yet. I was happy I caught my next flight  but I soon realized that my reward for surviving a 2 hour flight to Detroit, an hour delay, a 14 1/2 hour flight to Seoul and a sprint through the airport – a new 7 1/2 hour flight to Bali that would arrive at 1am local time.

This flight, again, wasn’t too bad as I slept through a good portion of it. I finally arrived at the Bali airport, got through immigration and collected my bag. Nick was able to setup a taxi for me, which was great as the driver would know where the AirBnB was. The problem was, now I had to find this specific guy. There were probably around 100 taxi drivers that all assured me they could give me the cheapest price but I had to sift through them all to find the one that Nick had arranged. It was fine though, after all, he told me he was wearing a blue shirt and shorts. After circling the section several times, I finally found the correct guy and we were on our way.  Now it was 1am, I was wide awake and had no idea where my AirBnB was, even though I booked it, but low and behold around 1:30am I had arrived. Luckily for me, Nick was still up as he was working West Coast US hours so he greeted me with a beer and we caught up for a few hours. We hadn’t seen each other since our last day in Mexico nine months ago so there was plenty to talk about since most everyone, including me, was now doing something very different than they thought they’d be doing when we all last spoke. Around 4:30am we called it a night and slept for a bit. Surprisingly, we both woke up just 2.5 hours later at 7:00 am but felt refreshed and decided to start our week in Bali.

I had survived my first flight to Asia, navigated the airports and found my accommodation. I also surprisingly felt great with no jet lag so I guess I made it out easy on this one. Either way, now I know. If you’re going to Asia, stay a while because getting there sucks.


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